Developer: Agharta Studio
App Reviewed On: New iPad
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In a galaxy, far, far away, aliens will play shuffle puck for credits. They will do so in a cantina while some very familiar music plays in the background. Thankfully, the force is strong with this one.
I have to ask myself, could one game steal so many ideas from various sci-fi sources, and still be any good? And the answer is YES! But, get past how closely the themes resemble a certain well known sci-fi movie, how the cute soundtrack that plays as you enter the cantina sounds so much like everyone's favorite cantina band, and there is a really well made game here.
A lot of thought has gone into the whole game, from the retina display graphics, to the layout of the title screen; which allows you to scroll around to enjoy the hi-res graphics even more. Everything works, and works well.
After a short intro, my character; a poor space traveller from Earth, finds himself in an alien bar that more than resembles a certain cantina from a certain sci-fi film. To enable my poor little space traveller to understand the locals, a little gold fish is stuffed into his ear, which translates all languages. Does this remind anyone of another little sci-fi series? I just cannot get over how many ideas they have stolen here. I hope they are trying to be cheeky, but really I think the game stands on it's own merits and really doesn't need this.
The cantina acts as the main menu for the game, allowing various opponents to be challenged to the exciting game of space shuffle puck and win credits that can then be spent on upgrades. Win enough games and the cantina opens up for a second and even a third level, with harder opponents.
Space shuffle puck is fun. Played in 3D style, the opponent stands at the far end of the shuffle board and the two players attempt to push the shuffle puck past each other. There are two styles of play; first to five or survival, where you get to score as many points as possible before your opponent scores. As a bonus, select the shuffle board on it's own and it zooms in to a top down view allowing two real players to face off to each other.
Credits won can be spent on improved pucks or mallets, and even concept art. Use credits to learn the background stories of the various opponents and eventually be rewarded with being able to use their special moves. All this adds challenge and longevity to what is already a considerably challenging game.
Which just leaves me to say, may the force be with you!